The 18th annual National Rice Month celebration has begun, and many activities are planned for September to promote the U.S. rice industry. A major focus of domestic promotion is to educate consumers about U.S.-grown rice.

Here a few of the events planned for this year’s celebration:

• Thousands of grocery stores will create eye-catching displays featuring U.S.-rice. Retailer partners will promote NRM through ad circulars, magazines, sampling programs, Web features, and other in-store promotions.

• The Rice Recipe Club Newsletter, sent to 4,500 rice enthusiasts, will introduce consumers to a rice farmer, educate them on how rice gets from the farm to the table, and feature a fall rice recipe encouraging them to prepare more rice.

• A consumer news release will position rice as a solution for healthy, economical meals and introduce the new “Grown in the USA” package logo, letting consumers know that more than 80 percent of rice consumed in the United States is grown in here.

• The second annual “Healthy Rice Bowls Contest” for school menu planners will encourage school lunch programs to add rice bowls to their menus.